Our loganberries fruit in summer. Fresh from the vine they are delicious snacks, full of fruity wholesomeness. Every year some of the berries inevitably get fried in the intense heat – maybe a metal fence was not the best place for their trellis after all, although the vine does expand every year. New growth appears and the expanse of the vine increases, despite the old-season’s leaves shrivelling from sunburn.
The berries which have been ‘sun dried by nature’ (admittedly not within a regulated process) transform into hard lozenges akin to boiled lollies. No longer fresh-berry-soft they are nevertheless an interesting eating experience. They burst with flavour so intense it’s like a rush of blood to the head. One crunchy bite and I can positively feel my bloodstream coursing truckloads of Vitamin C all around my body, carrying renewed vigour and health to all my internal organs. It’s that powerful a sensation! Almost addictive after a handful in one grazing sesh**.
I pick these hardened berries and ‘reconstitute’ them by soaking them in water. Guess what! The resulting juice (with the remaining stalks and leaves strained off) makes the most delicious and refreshing drink! Just perfect for a hot summer evening, unadulterated or effervescent with added fizzy water (soda, tonic or mineral).
Then I add the now-soft-again berries to morning muesli. Delicious! And my evening fruit salad. Double delicious!
I don’t like to waste the produce our garden produces, so I’m pleased to have stumbled on this method of ‘rehabilitation’ of what looks like something too-far-gone to be useful… it was a moment of mad genius, a stray ‘what if’ thought that worked! (Just be careful of the prickles if you’re trying this at home … but then, if you’re trying this at home, you’ll already know that …)
*There is no apostrophe missing in this title. It’s simply the abbreviation of the full word loganberries, such abbreviations being a key feature of Australian English.
**Australian vernacular for session.